Posted by Dale Buss on October 2, 2012 11:01 AM
Both FedEx and rival UPS have been reporting slowing and disappointing package-delivery activity lately as the global economy cools, especially in previously high-growth areas such as China and India. So FedEx is hoping to extract more revenues from its domestic operations by offering a new service boasting a three-day turnaround: PC repair.
FedEx has begun reaching out to major corporations to perform repairs on their "enterprise" small computers overnight through a new subsidiary called TechConnect, which will repair consumer electronics such as the iPad and the Nook. The company has been fixing its own technology gear for 30 years and saw a gap in the repair marketplace while its primary delivery business has been slowing.
"We found there was a high level of dissatisfaction in the marketplace," TechConnect manager Tod Taylor told USA Today. "What we offer is unparalleled turnaround time."
"First of all, we're probably one of the biggest repair shops for devices like that in the world for the very simple reason that FedEx basically invented the handheld, package-tracking device," FedEx CEO Fred Smith explained to Fortune. "Because a lot of that equipment is built into our DNA, we became very good at repairing it. And it was just a natural progression to tell a lot of our big customers that if you want us to also repair these devices, we can do it for you."Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on August 28, 2012 01:42 PM
In the world of brand extensions, fashion brands have a relatively easy path from clothing to fashion accessories. It is not uncommon, for example, to see brand names that may have started their lives associated with fine clothing become equally known for handbags, jewelry and perfume.
Yet another fashion brand is taking that route: Sperry Top-Sider is forging a relationship with Geneva Watches. Geneva will launch a line of Sperry fashion and sports watches in the spring of 2013.
Geneva Watch Group CEO Jeff Gregg says there is a "resurgence in American heritage brands among the Gen Y and Millennial consumers" and Sperry will help Geneva "expand our reach to this important group." The watch collection bearing the Sperry Top-Sider name will include vintage design elements drawing inspiration from the "Authentic Original" boat shoe silhouette and from the dashboard gauge-tech of vintage motor boats. Continue reading...
Posted by Peter Feld on August 17, 2012 05:17 PM
Mark J. Miller, who wrote about Ikea's new European foray into the hotel business yesterday, discussed this and other best and worst brand extensions on CNBC's Street Signs yesterday.
Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 16, 2012 10:03 AM
Europe’s financial difficulties continue and consumers are counting their Euros. Such a situation doesn’t bode well for the travel industry, which is why budget hotels have started popping up all over the continent and consumers that are actually traveling are using them more than they used to.
Budget hotel sales figures in 2011 were up 10 percent, Reuters notes, which means it was eating up 41 percent of the $162.5 billion European hotel market.
That kind of cash has enticed some folks to get into the budget-hotel biz or spread their brand. Germany’s Motel One is moving into the UK, Belgium, and Austria. Travelodge, which already has more than 500 hotels in Europe, opened four in London in July and is planning to open nine more in Europe before year’s end. Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 13, 2012 10:05 AM
Canada's upscale yogathletic brand lululemon has a younger sibling: ivivva athletica, a dance-inspired activewear label for girls and teens that has been dipping a pointed toe in the tween/teen market with a modest debut in Canada and a co-branded line with Disney.
The younger brand has been available in lululemon’s hometown of Vancouver and in Calgary, and this summer has been quietly slipping south of the border to the US via showrooms (not full-blown stores) to test the waters in Bellevue and Seattle, WA, plus Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.
“A note to all of our amazing + loyal ivivva girls: an ivivva SHOWROOM is a little different from an ivivva STORE," a blog post explains. "A showroom is a small space that we open in new cities to show a few pieces of our product line. It is the perfect place to go to get decked out in all of your core essentials and try on all of our sizes so you know what size to order in all of the crazy colours online! And, if you want more, you can always purchase online using the iPads in our showrooms.”
Parent company lululemon athletica, of course, is the yoga-inspired athletic apparel lifestyle brand that, while a little overreaching to some observers, has certainly raised the barre in technical fabrics and functional designs, not to mention in convincing women to pay a premium for yoga pants. But will lululemon moms stretch their wallets as wide for their dance-, track- and gymnastics-obsessed daughters?Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 30, 2012 10:01 AM
Sharpie loves fan input, evidenced by last year’s takeover of YouTube’s home page with user-generated art in an interactive mosaic ad that generated more than 62 million impressions in one day.
This year, Sharpie is inviting fans to create artwork for a music video for indie-pop band, California Wives, making their debut at the MTV Video Music Awards in September, in a campaign from Draftfcb Chicago.
Now through August 6th, submissions are open via the brand’s Facebook page and website. “What we’re really about is putting fans at the center of our story,” Ryan Rouse, global director of marketing for Sharpie, tells Marketing Daily. “It’s not about ambushing an audience with an ad; it’s about taking the passion within our community and amplifying that.” Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 9, 2012 03:01 PM
It may be too early to say the cola wars are over, although it's clear that PepsiCo is ready and willing to take on another archrival. Following years of competing with Coca-Cola with its array of beverage and snack food brands in the U.S., PepsiCo is now getting into the red-hot yogurt market and adding Dannon to its competitive set.
Faced with a U.S. yogurt market that is more crowded than ever with brands, and demonstrating almost no growth except in the Greek yogurt category, PepsiCo announced Monday that it's introducing a fresh brand to yogurt-loving Americans — and one that isn't focusing on Greek — via a new partnership with the Theo Muller Group, Germany's largest privately held dairy
That's the prospect for Muller Quaker Dairy when it finally enters stores in northeastern and mid-Atlantic states with three lines of yogurt products birthed by the joint venture. Muller Quaker promises "innovative premium" products that aim to create differentiation and taste excitement in a U.S. yogurt category that PepsiCo executives believe is lacking both.
"It's been an 'I gotta have it because it's good for me' kind of a product," Dr. Mehmood Khan, who oversees PepsiCo's global research and development, commented to the New York Times. "The 'wanna have it' was missing."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 15, 2012 04:17 PM
It seemed a little odd last year when punk metal icons Motörhead decided to do a little brand extending and it took the form of a red wine, Motörhead Shiraz. Fans of the band aren’t exactly known for playing polo and collecting antiques.
According to Gibson.com, though, the vino sold well enough that the band has decided to expand on its alcohol-based brand extensions. So prepare ye, world, for Motörhead Bastards Lager, a beverage that aligns with the popular perception of the group’s heavy metal fan base.
One small problem, thöugh — the new brew is only available in Sweden (it debuted at the recent Sweden Rock festival).Continue reading...